According to Cancer.net, knowing how cancer and subsequent treatment might affect seniors is important when it comes to care. Here are some tips on how to prepare for some situations older adults with cancer might face.
Age is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer. In fact, 60% of people who have cancer are 65 or older. So are 60% of cancer survivors. If you are an older adult with cancer, you are not alone. But you should know that age is just one factor in your cancer and treatment. The best treatment plan for you depends on your general health, lifestyle, wishes, and other factors.
Knowing how cancer and its treatment might affect you as an older adult is important. It allows you to plan the help you will need during treatment. Talk with your health care team if you are concerned about practical issues, such as getting to treatment or paying for it. They can help you find support.
Below are tips on how to prepare for some situations you might face as an older adult with cancer.
- Coping with another disease or disability. Talk with your health care team about your medications and the treatment plan for all your conditions. And make sure your cancer doctor talks with your other doctors. It is important for your entire health care team to know your situation.
- Getting to and from treatment and appointments. Talk with your family members and health care team about options. Many cities have special bus services for people with health concerns. Other options include private medical transportation and rides from friends and family. A social worker on your cancer care team can help you learn about different options.
- Help with daily activities. These activities may include shopping, getting dressed, or taking care of your family. Options include getting help from friends or family members, hiring someone to help, or finding help through a nonprofit organization, senior center, or your spiritual community.
- Help with meals. Good nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. During treatment, older adults are especially likely to lose weight without trying. This can put you at risk of other health issues. It may be helpful to have friends or family bring food, stock your pantry with foods that taste good to you, and order meals from a service, if your budget allows.